The Travis County Commissioners Court voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon to invest $110 million in COVID-19 recovery funds in homelessness prevention and affordable housing.
The funds, approved contingently pending a forthcoming fiscal analysis, come from the federal government's American Rescue Plan, relief dollars meant to help localities recover from the economic fallout of the pandemic.
This is how the funds will be used:
- Six to eight affordable housing communities that would serve some 1,000 residents. Half of those communities would be located west of I-35.
- A 200-tiny home expansion of Camp Esperanza in Southeast Austin, along with other services.
- A new housing community called Burleson Village on Burleson Road just minutes from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, which would serve around 700 residents.
Similarly, Austin City Council in June set aside $106.7 million through the American Rescue Plan for the homelessness crisis.
"If you're poor and you're in Austin, you're at the gates of hell," Commissioner Jeff Travillion said Tuesday. "We have to make sure that these dollars are an investment for poor people."
The Austin woman suspected of killing star cyclist visiting from out of town, Moriah "Mo" Wilson, has now been captured after evading arrest for more than a month.
Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, an Austin yoga instructor, is believed by officials to be the killer of Wilson, who was found with gunshot wounds in a friend's house on May 11. The murder is being investigated as a crime of passion after Wilson met up with Armstrong's ex-boyfriend.
According to the U.S. Marshals, Armstrong was located at a hostel on Santa Teresa Beach in Provincia de Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Officials said she may have been using her sister's name after fleeing Austin on May 14, the day after police questioned her. She was last identified at Newark Liberty International Airport on May 18.
Federal authorities say they plan on returning Armstrong to the U.S., where she'll face charges of murder and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
Here's a timeline of events since the night of Wilson's murder.
- The night of her death, Wilson met with Armstrong’s ex-boyfriend Colin Strickland, a fellow pro cyclist. According to an affidavit, the pair went swimming, then to dinner, before he dropped Wilson off at her friend's home where she was staying in East Austin at around 8:30 p.m.
- While Wilson and Stickland had previously had a romantic relationship, Stickland said the two were friends. The affidavit says Strickland lied to Armstrong about his whereabouts that evening.
- Video footage shows Armstrong’s Jeep pulled up nearby the home within a minute of Wilson arriving home.
- At around 10 p.m., Wilson's friend called Austin police after finding her in a pool of blood. Wilson had been staying with the friend ahead of the upcoming bike race in nearby Hico, Texas.
- Armstrong was brought in for questioning the day after the murder and released after appearing “very still and guarded” when confronted with video evidence.
- The Lone Star Fugitive Task Force said her black Jeep Cherokee was sold to a South Austin CarMax dealership on May 13 for $12,200.
- She leaves from the Austin airport on May 14.
- Shell casings found on the scene matched a gun belonging to Armstrong.
- Austin police obtained an arrest warrant for Armstrong on May 17.
- She took a flight from Newark Liberty International Airport to San Jose, Costa Rica on May 18 using a fraudulent passport, according to the Marshals.
- On May 25, another warrant was obtained for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
- On June 29, she was captured by the U.S. Marshals
Austin police have arrested 26-year-old Alexander Jordan after he allegedly committed nine robberies around Austin in under 24 hours.
Jordan is facing 10 counts of aggravated robbery, unlawful use of a motor vehicle and evading detention.
APD said Jordan started his spree at 8:19 p.m. Saturday on Pleasant Valley at Pipe Dreams and continued to eight other locations, including multiple Shell and 7-Eleven gas stations before ending the run just after 4 p.m. Sunday.
Seven of the robberies were located within Austin's city limits, while one was outside Austin but within the Travis County Sheriff's Office's jurisdiction.
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